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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam declines Telangana MLAs’ referral letters

HYDERABAD: In a fallout of the Krishna water dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has stopped accepting recommendation letters from Telangana MLAs for ‘darshan and accommodation’ for devotees.

A few devotees from Sangareddy produced Congress MLA Jayaprakash Reddy’s recommendation letter at Tirumala on Friday, but it was declined by the TTD Joint Executive Officer. Irked, the devotees staged a sit-in protest on the temple premises.

They asked the TTD officials to place a board outside the temple gates, which stated, “People from Telangana are not allowed here.” The devotees claimed that the TTD official who rejected their letter had cited orders from higher-ups, which were issued as a result of the ongoing dispute between the Telugu States.

After his recommendation letters for a group of devotees heading for Tirumala was rejected by the TTD, Sangareddy MLA Jayaprakash Reddy said, “The dispute between the Telugu States has reached such heights that an official letter by a public representative is not being accepted by a Board. This is the first time that something like this is happening. The TTD officials said that the AP government had instructed them not to accept the letter, stating the Telangana’s stand on the dispute was not favourable.”

Demanding that the Chief Ministers of both the States iron out their differences and display camaraderie, the MLA felt that if the issue was not resolved soon, it would have far reaching consequences in both the States.

“Once the issue is taken up by a party like the BJP, it would further spark sentiments. I request the Chief Ministers not to pull religious matters into politics and allow everyone to have darshan. This political fight would prove detrimental for both the States and their populace. The leaders can end this up by resolving the issue over phone,” added Jagga Reddy.

Irked by the rejection of the recommendation letter, the devotees staged a sit-in protest on the temple premises. They asked the TTD officials to place a board which stated, “People from Telangana are not allowed here”, outside the temple gates.